The first (and the biggest) Masters tournament of the year is over. The winner? Well, no one would have anticipated that Dominic Thiem would win his first Masters title on hard, against Federer.
What happened to Roger Federer in the Indian Wells final? First of all, the Swiss seemed relaxed. This is usually not a bad thing, but when you have a player who has not won a Masters before, you have to be a little alert.
Second, the “backhands duel” was won by Thiem. Both players use one handed backhands, a superb shot in tennis, but which, if it does not work, can make you lose the match. For Federer, his backhand game did not went well. Thiem was more precise and coordinated.
As for the service, the Swiss has nothing to reproach. Federer admitted, at the press conference after the final, that Thiem “was better at key moments”. That’s what made yesterday the difference in the field: focusing on the key moments of the match. And Federer’s hesitant backhand.
Dominic Thiem is at his first Masters title, after two finals previously lost. The Austrian did not have a brilliant season so far, in fact, he had only failures. The title at Indian Wells is a surprise even for him. On the other hand, Roger Federer played well in the first set only. It seems Federer faces the three-set matches harder, which questions his ability to win another Grand Slam.
Federer remains, however, the absolute king of Indian Wells. With two finals and a title in the last three years, the Swiss dominated the competition from the Californian desert. What’s next for him? It remains to be seen if the Swiss will play in Miami, and if not, we will most likely see him in Madrid and Roland Garros.